Over this long holiday week, questions have been marinating in my mind. Not new questions, but questions that require us to consider and discuss things a bit differently. Welcome to my July "brain dump"... Why is it so hard for people to understand that parenting a child with autism or ADHD is like parenting three typical children?
Why is it so hard for the people called "Mom and Dad" to be treated by the outside world (and sadly, sometimes their "inside world" too) with the respect they deserve when autism touches their family?
Why is it so hard for extended families to locate and access the supports they need when a grandchild, nephew, niece, or cousin has been diagnosed with autism?
Why is it so hard for parents of children with special needs to access the services and supports their children need in school (and yes, I know the actual reasons)?
Why is it so hard for children with autism or other differences to be accepted by their peers?
Why is it so hard for people to drop the assumption held by many that children with a "label" -- e.g. learning disability, Asperger's Syndrome -- will not reach high levels of achievement so the expectations for such are reduced or eliminated entirely?
Why is it so hard for companies/employers to make the correlation between the numbers of children diagnosed with autism (now estimated at 1 in 88) and the working parents in their workforce (i.e. the parents of these children) who are barely keeping their heads above water and need help...now?
Why is it so hard for working parents to utilize flexible work options when flexibility is the key to recruiting and retaining top performers *and* it's considered as important -- if not moreso -- than money?
Asking 8 questions on July 8th is a good start (for now). The point is this...we can't be afraid to ask these and many other questions. Plus, what do we teach our children? That no question should be left unasked. Asking a question is the first step to change. Change in understanding, perspective, appreciation, or response. All it takes is picking up that prism and turning it slightly to see things differently. That's the purpose of the questions...